29 May 2024

ANU pro-Palestinian students rally for 'right to peacefully protest' after forced relocation

| James Coleman

The ANU Gaza Solidarity Encampment was originally located in the emergency evacuation area. Photo: Supplied.

Pro-Palestinian rallies at the Australian National University (ANU) continue unabated despite the protesters being served with a notice to move on by security.

A rally from 10:30 this morning (28 May) attracted hundreds of people and placards, reiterating their freedom to protest against the war in Gaza after efforts by the university to move the encampment from an emergency evacuation area.

The ‘ANU Gaza Solidarity Encampment’ sprang up on an open grassy space along University Avenue about a month ago, with daily rallies ever since.

On Wednesday, 15 May, the ANU said the tents and marquees spread across the primary emergency evacuation site for the Kambri area of the campus posed an “unacceptable safety risk”.

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Kambri includes student residences for 400 students, major teaching and study areas, a medical centre, a gym and swimming pool, a cultural centre accommodating 1000 visitors, and a variety of businesses.

A fire alarm and subsequent evacuation of the area in early May revealed the alternative assembly area “failed”, and seven of the students were asked to move on by that Friday.

ANU staff also met with several of the students to discuss how they could continue to protest in a way that ensures the “health, safety and well-being” of everyone on campus but clarified that if students defied the ultimatum to relocate, they would face “disciplinary action” by police.

The rallies are said to be attracting between 250 and 300 students. Photo: Supplied.

On Monday morning, at 8 am, protesters said they were woken by security guards serving them a notice to move on by 12 pm, Tuesday.

“We respect the right of all members of our community to protest, provided it is safe, respectful and lawful,” ANU Chief Operating Officer Christopher Price said in a statement.

“To facilitate ongoing protest, if that is what members of our community wish to undertake, ANU has offered alternative sites for that purpose. This includes the University Avenue lawns near North Road and the lawns outside the Chancelry.”

During the day, more than 200 protesters – including ACT Greens politicians – decried the notice, with many forming a human barrier around the edge of the encampment while others chanted with megaphones.

During a rally yesterday, protesters formed a human chain to protest the ANU’s order to move on. Photo: Supplied.

But in a statement today, the organisers say they “overwhelmingly made the decision to relocate to the end of University Avenue”.

One student, Al, told Region the original site has been “completely cleared out”.

“We still got good numbers. We saw, if anything, an increase in numbers overnight due to the escalatory measures from the university,” she said.

This morning’s rally was to “demonstrate that students of the ANU will continue to exercise our right to peacefully protest”.

“We will continue to serve as a reminder to the ANU, for as long as it takes, that they have a legal obligation not to be complicit in an unfolding genocide,” a statement from the organisers reads.

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The encampment is calling for the university to “disclose and divest” its ties to the Israeli military. FOI documents requested by the protesters reveal the ANU has contracts with Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Saab worth more than $1 million.

Al says these, and a number of other companies working with the ANU, are “complicit in and aiding the genocide in Gaza”.

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said it was “shameful” the university’s leadership is moving the students on “rather than genuinely addressing their demands”.

“I think the important point here is that the students do have a right to protest … and that we get a dialogue going between the students and the uni,” he told ABC radio this morning.

The encampment has moved to a grassy patch further down University Avenue. Photo: Supplied.

The Australian Jewish Association (AJA), with student members at the ANU, says the university should have acted earlier to remove the protesters.

“ANU has brought this on themselves,” CEO Robert Gregory told Region.

“Even now, the reason they’re providing is to do with safety when it should be to do with the students’ safety, and how these encampments are … intimidating to students.”

AJA has received allegations from Jewish students of bullying by some of the protesters, including verbal abuse and even a Nazi salute, which the university is investigating. One student alleges he had to find new accommodation.

“We believe at least one of the strong motivators [of protestors] is hatred of Jews,” Mr Gregory said.

“We haven’t seen these sort of encampments for any other international war, and we don’t think that’s a coincidence.”

In a plan released today, Federal opposition home affairs spokesman James Paterson said if elected next year, the Coalition would use section 116 of the Migration Act to cancel the visas of student protesters “found to be involved in spreading anti-semitism or supporting terrorism”.

The encampment maintains it is “committed against any forms of bigotry. including Islamophobia, anti-semitism and all forms of racism”.

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Capital Retro9:19 pm 28 May 24

I was going to leave a bequest to the ANU but their disgusting judgement has left me stunned.

I will never have anything to do with them again nor will I attend any function on their grounds.

HiddenDragon8:07 pm 28 May 24

Whenever and however the Israeli campaign in Gaza comes to an end, there will be an enormous amount of reconstruction to be done – participating in that would be a great opportunity for the ANU protestors and their counterparts in other cities to give practical expression to their passionate views on this subject.

What Hamas did on Oct 7th does not excuse what Israel is doing. Nothing can justify the atrocities happening in Gaza.

If it was 37.000 Jews killed by an ally of an ally (making us complicit) we would be protesting that too.

IDF are very sophisticated and have some of the best weapons and surveillance equipment in the world – paid for by $Billions in military ‘aid’ from the US.
They can avoid killing civilians if they want to,
They can’t justify using mega bombs that blow up whole city blocks killing hundreds of civilians at a time.

And the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would have a better idea than readers here as to what counts as Genocide.

And it is not just revenge (Collective Punishment which is a war crime) it is a land grab and a grab for the fossil fuels just off of the Gaza coast.

Israel is preventing Humanitarian Aid from entering the war zone, killing hundreds of aid workers and journalists.

There is a process followed in conflict zones all over the world, – aid workers notified the invading army of exactly when and where they are going to be so they don’t get killed accidentally, and yet they are being killed by the hundreds, even when no other possible targets in the area.

Australia can’t choose to ignore human rights violations/war crimes just because Israel are US allies – we can’t pick and choose when to abide by the “Rules Based Order” just because the US does

The Genocide convention came about because of what happened to the Jews. – so that it never happens again!

Ir is exactly an excuse for what HAMAS are doing catada. None of this would be happening if not for Oct 7th. The very obvious way for this to stop overnight is for HAMAS to surrender and leave Gaza and back to Oman and Iran.

So, what happened Oct 7th catada? A tea party for HAMAS terrorism and terrorists? Or a genocide aimed specifically at Jewish civilians?

Max_Rockatansky3:27 pm 28 May 24

On the 7th October 2023 Hamas fired 3,000 rockets at civilian areas across Israel, then over 3,000 terrorists invaded southern Israel and committed unspeakable barbarism against women and children. Anthony Albanese raised a motion in parliament the next sitting day to condemn Hamas and to support Israel. This received bipartisan support, except, the 4 Greens opposed the PM’s motion. Greens failed to condemn barbarism. Shame on them.

I love the pro-HAMAS signage. Shows both the state of these students lack of historical knowledge about Israel and Gaza, even going back as recently as two decades ago. Forget about 3,000 years ago when the the Jews under Moses moved into Canaan (then called Judea, now Israel and Gaza) from The Pharaohs’ Egypt. Two decades ago around 2002 Israel moved out of Gaza and HAMAS took over as a dictatorship. Since then Israel has offered HAMAS a two state solution on no fewer than three separate occasions and ALL HAMAS have to agree too is Israels right to exist and defend itself. This HAMAS has refused to agree too every time its been offered. Inconvenient facts I know but facts nonetheless.

Hamas were elected. You are telling lies

Israel was founded by a bunch of Europeans invading and killing the Palestinian inhabitants. Palestinians have every right to expel them

NO, They were NOT elected. Your ignorance of how HAMAS came to power is blinded by your ideology Ken M. They (HAMAS) are an Iranian funded and controlled proxy for the Islamic State of Iran, also not a democracy. HAMAS 1st arrived in small numbers from the PFLP, the West Bank /Palestinian Authority and Iran itself. They were NEVER elected by any majority vote in Gaza. They took control violently from a disparate coalition of militarily weak Palestinian local council groups. Ever since then (around 2003-4) they have waged never-ending aggressive acts against Israel and its citizens. Learn your history Ken before saying anything further that just makes you look uniformed.

Israel was founded by Moses 3,000 years ago johnsalmond. Remember him, he’s mentioned quite often in the Bible? Moses led the “Israelites” out of The Pharaohs Egypt and settled them in Canaan, then renamed Judea which is now where Israel and Gaza are now. Who was there 1st john? Clearly the Jews and NOT the Palestinians who mostly came from Turkey and Southern Syria around 120 years ago. Amazing how little you people that want to condemn Israel actually know about that area’s history, isn’t it?

There is no actual evidence that the Jews were ever in Egypt. It’s just a fairy story. Even the most eminent Jewish archaeologist agree on this.

Ir is exactly an excuse for what HAMAS are doing catada. None of this would be happening if not for Oct 7th. The very obvious way for this to stop overnight is for HAMAS to surrender and leave Gaza and back to Oman and Iran.

“ NO, They were NOT elected.”
No matter how much you capitalise your comment, Rob, you cannot change the facts.

After Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections on 25 January 2006, Ismail Haniyeh was nominated Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, establishing a Palestinian national unity government with Fatah. This government effectively collapsed with the outbreak of the violent conflict between Hamas and Fatah. After the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas on 14 June 2007, Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government and appointed Salam Fayyad Prime Minister. Though the new Ramallah-based Palestinian government’s authority was claimed to extend to both the Palestinian territories, in effect it became limited to the West Bank, as Hamas did not recognize the dismissal and continued to rule the Gaza Strip. Both administrations – Abbas’ Fatah government in Ramallah and the Hamas government in Gaza – regarded themselves as the sole legitimate government of the Palestinian National Authority. The international community, however, recognized the Ramallah administration as the legitimate government.

While their “democratic right” to rule over the Gaza strip is questionable, there is no historical doubt that Hamas was democratically elected.

So, Rob, you obviously get your historical facts from the eclesiastical equivalent of The Canterbury Tales.

There is no archaeological evidence that the Israelites/Hebrews dwelt in Egypt. In fact archaeological findings, suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture.

Amazing how you want to condemn people for their knowledge of the area’s history, when your own is so obviously lacking.

GrumpyGrandpa10:47 pm 28 May 24

Ken M
The Australian Government and many around the world consider Hamas to be a terrorist organisation.

Hamas attack in October 2023 on civilian areas in Israel, was a terrorist attack and Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas.

I’m not supporting for one minute the loss of innocent Palestinian lives. This is a dreadful situation.

The difficult question is can Palestine free itself of Hamas?


Clearly these ‘educated’ students don’t understand what genocide is. If you put a map in front of them, most protesters would struggle to identify where Palestine is, let alone identify where the river runs (in their river to the sea chants), nor could they name that river.

A street poll recently in London these pro-HAMAS demonstrators couldn’t name the Jordan River or the Mediterranean Sea as the geographical entities in their genocidal chant. Didn’t know the history of the Palestinians or Judea ( now Gaza and Israel), or the present Jewish state. Uneducated, Marxist ideologically driven nitwits. Learn your history or your bound to repeat its historical mistakes.

Capital Retro3:19 pm 28 May 24

On the subject of maps, you will not find where Israel is in the cabin magazines of any of the airlines based in the Middle East. It simply does not exist.

All war crimes are war crimes -https://edition.cnn.com/2024/02/20/middleeast/israel-hamas-un-investigation-sexual-abuse-intl/index.html

Yep, Oct 7th was definitely a war crime and the other crime no one wants to admit on the HAMAS side, A GENOCIDE. It’s a GENOCIDE because it was an attack against the Jews, and only the Jews and the biggest single loss of Jewish lives since the Nazi holocaust of WW2. Say this isn’t fact proth57?

There seems to be clear evidence that the Hamas attackers engaged in intentional gender based violence including rape and targeting of unarmed women (and apparently children).

Considering the recent exposure in our news about gender based violence here in Australia and the national outcry against it, those protestors should be protesting against the Palestinians who not only produced those monsters but are currently sheltering them.

Or perhaps gender based violence is not abhorrent when performed by a group they like against a group they don’t like.

You do realise it’s possible to not support Hamas and their abhorrent actions, while at the same time denouncing the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians by the IDF, don’t you? Or is that OK because it’s being performed by a group you like against a group you don’t like?

That’s about the most bizarre argument ever.
You seem to be suggesting that we should grade killings based on gender ???
How about bombing children & hospitals or starving people.

Pretty sure the point is that both sides are doing some very immoral things, so we should rather just leave them to sort out their own issues than picking the one side or the other.

Spiral — a good point. One that leftists prefer to ignore. They think the solution to all of this is to eliminate Israel and its people. They say that view of theirs is just “criticism” and are most distressed anyone would think they’re antisemitic. Because that would make the Left a hotbed of bigotry and racism. To sidestep that, they’ll start reciting Hamas talking points. Except the taboo Hamas aim of eliminating jewry from the face of the earth — our “be kind” leftists know not to repeat that one. Actually they don’t want you to know about that. All in all, they’re common or garden tribalists, just choosing one side of the conflict, with no real interest in finding a solution both sides can live with.

The civilians seemed very pleased when the hostages were taken back to Gaza and displayed to be spat on and assaulted. It might be the population are in this as much as Hamas who could of course fight in the open not behind the civilians. I don’t consider the Israelis any more civilised in this conflict but it might be they deserve each other.

NO, it isn’t Justsaying. Just beneath the surface of every single one of these Pro-HAMAS, anti-semetic demonstrations is the real ideology of left wing anti-semetic fascism. The Nazi National Socialist regime of WW2 Hitler would be proud of these demonstrations as are the modern facist ideologies that promote anti-semetic behaviour. The facts are HAMAS started this, Israel didn’t. HAMAS deny Israels’ right to exist, Israel does not deny Gaza’s right to exist but it’s about to deny HAMAS’s ability to control Gaza any longer.

This is a lie. The israelis own examination of bodies showed no evidence of rape. Peddle your hebrew nonsense elsewhere.

very little evidence, but a lot of lies by Israel later comprehensively refuted

Close, Vousie, not picking a side is a definite first step.
Second step is then sending in UN peacekeepers, toothless though they might be.
But the first step is important, and the problem is we’re all implicated in supporting Israel.
Because I don’t know where 100% of my super is, and the only way to get that 100% that my money isn’t tied up in their war effort is sanctions.
I’m close enough to 100% that no money of mine backs Hamas, because aside from sanctions – Gaza produces nothing but dirt and misery, no money in it.

A good first step is binning the idea that Israel can do no wrong, and making sure I’m not even accidentally supporting them.

I get it, Hamas started it so the innocent Palestinians deserve what happens to them.

You are just as bad as the student protestors you rail against. You can’t allow any view but your own right wing perspective. I stated I was abhorred at the Hamas actions and I am equally abhorred at the killing of innocent Palestinians by the IDF.

Crocodile tears Justsaying. HAMAS’s figures for civilian killed were just lowered by 50% by the UN itself. You need to get out more mate and do a bit of reading outside your facist left wing bubble. You would learn a few things you probably wouldn’t like about Iran and HAMAS given your probably a decent human being?

Disagree. The 1st and only step Israel has is to fundamentally dismantle HAMAS. Then peace keepers can oversea democratic elections in Gaza. Democracy and HAMAS cannot be used in the same sentence.

And when every citizen capable of voting knows someone who was killed as “justifiable collateral damage” by Israel in that democratic election, can you guess what shape the thusly elected government will have?

Anyway, I’m not here to tell them how to prosecute their genocide, I’m just here to say go nuts… But not with arms I paid for.

Sanctions, now.

the ANU and other unis bred the protesters and then the ANU and other unis suffer because of the protesters. This is leftism in a nutshell, as well as just one of many examples of its self-defeating nature that could be used.

Vasily M
Nice rant, but it’s actually democracy and freedom of speech in a nutshell.

It might be democracy but the side they’re cheering for is anything but a democracy. The lefties in this group would find Hamas is anything but sympathetic to any of their beliefs, like respect for women, respect for the LGBTI community, respect for other people’s beliefs, climate change and the list goes on. That’s what I find amazing about who the protesters are cheering for.

For the cultural elite progressives, everything was all microaggressions, cancel culture, hate speech and misinformation laws until this issue. Free speech was derided as “freeze peach lol, like, so far right wing”. Now the left say they’re the bestest free speech champions. Colour me cynical.

Rant? Really? Democracy is NOT chanting hate speech or encouraging anti-semetic behaviour Justsaying. You seem to think it is? Freedom of speech implies in fact guarantees hearing both sides of an argument Try addressing these ANU students with a few historical facts and see how free your speech becomes.

Elf, the progressives apparently don’t want any of those things you’ve mentioned. That’s why they’re backing fascism. They like how Hamas deals with those things (off the top of a high building), and want to destroy Israel where those things can exist. They even want the Israeli Left “river to the sea’d” too (don’t mention cattle trucks driven into the forest, they’ll deny it, even though that’s basically what they have in mind). Weird but true. Hard to understand, but that’s hatred for you. Progressives, huh.

Please don’t lie. No progressive has in any way condoned, supported or praised Hamas actions. Your jaundiced perspective is pathetic.

What? By backing Palestine you back HAMAS. I would go further go to any HAMAS site on the internet and there are plenty of them. Their propaganda is to this day Australia/America and UK, France Citizens back their actions on Oct 7th because of the supporting demonstrations in these countries. That’s how your support is actually used by HAMAS to twist what they did as something righteous.

You got it! But ignorance trumps facts with the left and ideology and opinion definitely trumps fact.

“By backing Palestine you back HAMAS.”
And your propoganda is no different to that of Hamas. You demonise every Palestinian simply because of the geographical location they ilegally inhabit. Perhaps you need to drop the rhetoric and accept that the two state solution, favoured by just about every democratic country, includes both Israel and Palestine.

If the protest was against anything but israel, the university and the media would be cheering them on.

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